In Pew First, Majority Now Support Gay Marriage

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 6 2013 12:19 PM

The (Perceived) Inevitability of Gay Marriage

The Pew Research Center has found that for the first time since it began asking the question, a majority of Americans now support allowing gays and lesbians to wed. Fifty-one percent of those polled last month said they are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, while 42 percent are opposed, according to the latest Pew numbers out today. In March, the pollsters found plurality support for gay marriage—49 percent to 44—but the latest numbers suggest gay-marriage supporters and their allies have finally cracked into the all-important majority.

The latest numbers are far from a surprise, but that's kind of the point. The legalization of gay marriage now seems inevitable in the eyes of most Americans, regardless of whether they are for or against it. Pew captures that fact in with this handy graphic:

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 12.13.33 PM

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Of course, perceived inevitability aside, gay marriage is actually only currently legal in a dozen states: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington (along with the District of Columbia). Check out the full Pew report (.pdf) here.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.